Spencer Sova- 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

spencer sova

2021-22 Team: Erie Otters (OHL)
Date of Birth: Jan. 10, 2004
Place of Birth: Windsor, ON, CAN
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 185 lbs
Shoots: L
Position: D
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible

Rankings

The Erie Otters selected Spencer Sova with the eighth-overall pick in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection Draft in 2020. He has played 64 games in 2021-22 after his expected rookie season in 2020-21 was unfortunately canceled. His 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) rank second among Otters defensemen behind fellow draft prospect Christian Kyrou.

Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide

Sova is a strong skater who possesses the ability to become an effective offensive defenseman at the NHL level. Dominic Tiano made the bold assertion that Sova has potentially the best edgework among all skaters in the 2022 draft class. He has shown his breakaway speed and ability to move the puck on the rush for Erie this season. Defensemen who can help the transition game are at a high premium in the NHL, which will play into his favor in Montreal in July.

Spencer Sova, Erie Otters (Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images)

Four of Sova’s nine goals this season have come on the power play. His shot of him from the point could become lethal with the right seasoning. He has shown the ability to pick corners from low percentage areas, but his accuracy still needs improvement. Sova’s overtime game-winner against the Kitchener Rangers on April 2 was the highlight of his first OHL regular season.

Sova has spoken about his own play in the defensive zone as the area of ​​his game he was worked on most. As a guest with the I Only Touch Greatness podcast in December 2021, he spoke about how the Erie coaching staff has encouraged him to close in on opponents rather than playing a passive style in his own zone. The Otters have precedence for capable defensemen making the jump to the next level, as they sent up-and-coming Anaheim Ducks star defenseman Jamie Drysdale to the NHL just two years ago.

The need for time to develop the right feel for positioning and attacking opponents in the defensive zone positioning is common among young defensemen. It will continue to be a point of emphasis for whichever organization ultimately drafts the 18-year-old in July.

Sova has spoken in the past about his ability to bring energy and leadership to the table. He also expressed the right attitude about player development after the Otters selected him in 2020 with a sentiment commonly stressed by NHL defensemen, saying “My focus is on the defensive play now, and the offense will just come with it.”

Sova and teammate Nolan Lalondewill represent Team Canada at the 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship in Germany beginning on April 23. The two Otters rookies will be joined by four other OHL players on teams who did not qualify for the postseason. Team Canada enters as the defending gold medalists.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Spencer Sova- NHL Draft Projection

Sova will likely come off the board during the second or third round. His style of play will be encouraging to teams who are looking to build their organizations with consideration to the emergence of offensive defensemen as building blocks for NHL franchises. After only one season in the OHL, teams who notice his raw shooting ability will be optimistic about the potential improvement of his shooting accuracy and the high upside that could come as a result of that development.

Quotas

“What stands out first with Sova is his skating. He is a smooth skating defenseman who has speed to burn. Offensively, he can make you pay with that speed by jumping up into the play and winning the race. Defensively, he uses that speed to close gaps and break up plays at his blueline, the neutral zone and surprisingly at the oppositions blueline to keep plays in the O-zone. And his edgework from him should not be overlooked and he could be the best in the draft class. There are no flaws in his technique or mechanics of him.” -Dominic Tiano, OHLWriters.me

“It’s an honor to have players identified by Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. It’s always nice to have members of the organization represent their country. Having said that, we wish we could still be playing and enjoying Erie’s playoff atmosphere. It’s truly exciting to see Nolan and Spencer as they continue their season with the opportunity to chase a gold medal for their country.” –Dave Brown, General Manager, Erie Otters

strengths

  • breakaway speed
  • Excellent edgework
  • Quick shot from the point, especially on the power play
  • Moving the puck in transition
  • Priority for energy, leadership

Under Construction- Improvements to Make

  • Shooting accuracy
  • Continued development closing gaps in the defensive zone
  • More consistent point production

NHL Potential

Sova has plenty of room for improvement. With the proper coaching and seasoning, he can develop into a competent NHL defenseman down the line. He spoke in December about how he models his game after Miro Heiskanen because of his strength as a skater and his ability to play well in the offensive and defensive zones. The Dallas Stars blueliner is also listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk 4/5, Reward 5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense 8/10, Defense 6/10

Awards/ Achievements

Sova won the championship of the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL) 15U division with the Detroit Honeybaker 15U AAA team in 2019-20. Although the Otters missed the OHL postseason in 2021-22, he will get the opportunity to compete at the IIHF U18 World Championships in Germany beginning on April 23.

Spencer Sova Statistics

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